Opera Diabolicus - '†1614' (Metalville) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 26 March 2012 05:30

OPERA_DIABOLICUSIf ever a band drop a massive clue as to what they're going to sound like, then it's Sweden's Opera Diabolicus - for this debut offering, six years in the making, is indeed a piece of pure diabolical death metal theatre, epic in scope, scale and its cast of characters.


The brainchild of composer David Grimoire and bass player Adrian de Crow, this stunning piece of metal opera features King Diamond/Dimmu Borgir Snowy Shaw and Dragonland keyboardist Elias Holmlid at the core of its sound - so you can probably guess exactly what it sounds like. Add in assembled vocal talents such as Dream Evil's Niklas Isfeldt, Amaranthe's Jake E, Therion's Mats Leven and the previously unknown Camilla Alisander-Ason, and you'd be spot on.


At its simplest, this is pure gothic rock opera. But there's nothing simple about it: demonic deathbeats contrast with genteel harpsichords, doomy riffs mix with huge high-end choral orchestrations. At times its bombastic and pompous - but it gets away with it, with plenty of style to spare; at others, it's as dirty as the deathliest metal you can imagine. It twists and turns, folds and unfolds, soars and dips - all the while aided by an absolutely stunning production from King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque (who must surely have been tempted to join in the fun).


Shaw's drum performance is everything you would expect it to be, the guitars of Grimoire and Eric Rauti are tortured to their limits and the orchestrations (again by Grimoire, with the help of Holmlid and choral arranger Jonas Heidgert) perfectly match the mood swings of the music. The likes of 'Blood Countess Bathory' - Okay, the subject matter is not exactly original - may be shaving ten minutes, but not once does the album drag: in fact, the fact that it contains so many elements that you'll keep coming back to explore it more.


If you were disappointed by the recent Nightwish rock opera, this will more than make up for it.


If you want to enjoy the show for yourself, '†1614' is available now and from here.




To pick up your copy of '1614' - CLICK HERE